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Lawn Talk

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Efficient Watering of Your Lawn

Two-thirds of Amarillo’s water use in the spring and summer months result from residents watering their lawns and gardens. It’s sad but true; homeowners waste roughly half of the water they use. One reason for this waste is that homeowners water their lawns and gardens inefficiently. Using these tips when watering your lawn and garden can result in measurable savings in water consumption.

The key to watering lawns is to apply water infrequently, yet thoroughly. This creates a deep, well-rooted lawn that efficiently uses the water that is stored in the soil.

When to Water

  • Appearance - Wilting and discoloration are signs of water stress. Most grasses take on a dull, dark appearance and footprints are visible when it needs water. You have 24 to 48 hours to water before damage occurs.
  • Time of Day -Water early in the morning, before 10 a.m. 

When Not to Water

  • Guideline - Do not water when it is excessively windy, rainy, or during the heat of the day (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) You will lose approximately one third of the water to evaporation. Plants don't have enough time to absorb the water before it is evaporated by the sun.

How Much to Water

  • Water Depth - Usually applying 1 to 1 ½ inches of water to your lawn is adequate to wet the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. 

How Often to Water

  • By the Type of Grass - Identify your type of grass to determine how often to water, especially during summer months. Don't cut grass too short; longer grass holds moisture better.


Irrigation Systems

The goal of any irrigation system is to efficiently water your landscape. You can achieve your landscaping goals while conserving water by using a sprinkler that emits large drops of water that remain close to the ground, not one that sprays fine mist into the air. Spray irrigation and drip irrigation systems are both good options. 

Always remember to:

  • Check your settings at least quarterly to make sure that water is being applied properly and make adjustments as needed.
  • Broken or clogged sprinkler heads are a major cause of water waste and runoff. Check sprinkler heads regularly.
  • Check for leaks and repair them promptly. 

Prevent runoff

If runoff occurs before the desired amount of water is applied, turn off the water and allow it to soak in for 30 minutes to an hour. Continue the on-ff cycle until the correct amount of water has been applied. To avoid runoff in sloping areas, place sprinklers near the top of the slope.


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